Πέμπτη, 11 Φεβρουαρίου 2010

SADF M83 chest rig

Since some time now I have been trying to reduce the amount of my tactical nylon by categorizing my gear according to the AEG platform used. So, I was looking for a platform to accompany my AKs, both for CQB and woodland games. I could just go the modular way and built it up. The problem lies there, because high speed gear manufacturers got the AR users in mind. Usually AK magazine pouches advertised as “doubles” are actually “triples”. For some reason they believe that the AK users need 50% more ammo compared to AR users to get the target… Stereotype believing, player haters I say… So, I started looking to old school gear made for the AK platform. During a chat over at Wannabe forums, the user named Optactical suggested the M83 chest rig. I looked into I, gathered all the info I could and I thought I should give it a shot. Lucky me. That’s the solution to my problems…


I spotted a M83 chest rig at ebay for 35 bucks and I purchased it, hoping for the best. 2 weeks after I paid for it, the post man brought a USPS package at my door. I opened it and I felt in love with what I saw inside. The SADF M83 chest rig…



MATERIAL AND COLOUR

The rig is made by ballistic nylon. Ballistic nylon is actually Cordura fabric. Of course there is no “Cordura” label since Dupont patented the name, after the M83 was produced. The colour is “Nutria Brown” which is a darker hue of what today would be described as Coyote Brown. Absolutely lovely … The finish of the rig and the straps are black like the fastenings. The stitching is really reinforced where it matters. In the following photo is obvious that the Nutria Brown blends with the MARPAT pattern extremely well...




LAYOUT

The design is fairly simple. The rig is just a rectangular panel with 4 pockets. Starting from the right side (wearing it) there is a relatively big pocket designed for the field trauma kit. Actually I intend having my PMR radio in there. Next to it and to the center there is a big pocket divided in 3 double cells for the magazines. Each of the double cells is covered by a flap that closes with a Velcro strip. To the left hand side there are 2 smaller pockets. One is the original radio pouch and a grenade pocket. The grenade pocket is way too small, so most probably I will rest spare batteries in it. The other one will be used as a general purpose pocket filled with speed loaders, extra flash light and a multi tool or so.

The rig is kept in place by 3 straps. 2 leaving the rig going up to the shoulders and to the back and 1 that secures it around the waist. The shoulder straps are thickly padded and they are very comfortable. A very useful feature of the straps is that they are quite far apart. Usually chest rig straps tend to be close and usually dig in the rear of the neck when loaded. No problem here…

The whole panel is backed with heavy duty mesh. To the rear of the panel there is a flat pocket for maps, intel, etc covered with a flap secured with Velcro.




The magazine pouches fit AK magazines really well. Even thought it was originally designed for the R4 and R5 rifles (the SA version of the Galil) which look like STANAG magazines on steroids...

Bottom line, it's a well built, durable, well designed chest rig. I can't be happier with one...

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